City of 7 Billion

Galata Greek Primary School
Joyce Hsiang, Bimal Mendis

“No matter which peak, plain, or planet we inhabit, it is designed… The Earth’s history is stratified, and our story is preserved within this geology. Layers of evidence have amassed through the process of sedimentation that preserves a record of ancient climates and life forms. This gradual accumulation, coupled with intense pressure and heat, has over billions of years generated the natural resources used to fuel the growth of today’s physical and cultural artifacts. Human activity is tethered to these hidden underworlds 3,000 to 30,000 feet below the earth’s surface. These vast underground metropolises include gold, copper, and salt mines, nuclear weapons testing sites, offshore oil wells, petrochemical storage caverns, landfills, and subglacial lakes. We consume our history in an act of destructive metabolism, disrupting the original stratigraphic sequence and creating new fault lines.” –JH, BM


City of 7 Billion presents drawings from an ongoing research project that considers “all seven billion of us, … as the Earth’s designers and constructors.” The exhibit consists of a series of vertical “sample cores” deep inside the ground to reveal the extent and shape of human activity below the surface of the planet. In addition, two suspended, oversized, spider web-like drawings of the Earth superimpose the traces of roads, shipping lanes, flight paths and submarine cable.